Yeast polo-like kinases: functionally conserved multitask mitotic regulators

Oncogene. 2005 Jan 10;24(2):217-29. doi: 10.1038/sj.onc.1208271.


The polo-like kinases (Plks) are a conserved subfamily of Ser/Thr protein kinases that play pivotal roles in regulating various cellular and biochemical events at multiple stages of M phase. Genetic and biochemical data revealed that both the budding yeast and the fission yeast polo kinase homologs (Cdc5 and Plo1, respectively) bear remarkable functional similarities with those in metazoan organisms, suggesting that the role of Plks is largely conserved throughout evolution. Thus, studies on Plks in genetically amenable lower eucaryotic organisms may yield valuable insights into the function of Plks in higher eucaryotic organisms. In this review, common properties and distinct functions of Cdc5 and Plo1 will be discussed and compared to properties and functions of Plks in higher eucaryotic organisms.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell Cycle Proteins / physiology
  • Cytokinesis / physiology
  • Mitosis / physiology*
  • Protein Kinases / physiology
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / physiology*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Yeasts / enzymology*
  • Yeasts / genetics
  • Yeasts / physiology


  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Protein Kinases
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • polo-like kinase 1